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How Do You Measure Website Success?

Andrew’s Note: This is a guest post by a good friend of mine – and awesome link builder – Brandon Hopkins.

When I meet with clients that need my link building services, one of the first things I ask is, “How would you measure success?” In other words, what will I need to do to meet your expectations. This does two things, it helps me understand how much link building and internet experience the client has, but it also allows us to talk mutually about what success means online. Here are a few common problems I hear about and what can be done to meet those expectations.

1. Problem: I want more business! Increased business can come in the form of phone calls or sales (depending on what you’re looking for). For those of you in the legal profession that “want more business”, you would expect me to deliver prospects that need your legal services. You wouldn’t be happy with phone calls (or emails) from people looking for a washing machine.

Solution: Your website needs to show up when someone searches for your services. In order to get more business from your website you need people to find you in the search engines. For this, you generally have two options, organic listings and PPC (pay per click). Organic listings (blue in the below image) aren’t purchased from Google while with PPC (red in the below image) you pay Google every time someone clicks your ad.

Obviously if you have a choice between free and paid links, you would choose free. However, it does take work and time to get to the top of the organic results. This work consists primarily of building links to your website. Many people start doing this on their own and realize how little time they have, and how many links it takes to make a difference in the search results. If you want to start building links on your own, a good place to start is with a few links from a high quality web directory such, as these.

2. Problem: I’m not getting conversions! If you’re getting visitors to your website, but the phone isn’t ringing and your inbox is empty, you have a keyword problem! This almost always results from choosing the wrong keywords to focus on. If your website talks about how your are a Virginia reckless driving attorney but you’ve chosen “Virginia Attorney” as your main keyword, you’re going to get people looking for a bankruptcy attorney, tax attorney, defense attorney, and many other parts of the law that you don’t specialize in. When these people get to your website, they’ll browse around, see that you don’t specialize in what they need, and they’ll try to find a different attorney.

Solution: You need to have what I call “Actionable Keywords”. These are keywords that convey a buyers mentality. For example, a website that sells flowers can choose between a few keywords such as “pictures of flowers”, “silk flowers”, and “buy flowers”. If you’re trying to sell flowers, the only keyword that will translate into an order is “buy flowers”. The other two search terms may or may not be buyers. They might be 11 year old kids looking for flowers for a school report. That’s why selecting an actionable keyword is important.

3. Problem: I rank #1 for an actionable keyword, but I’m not getting calls! If you have carefully selected your keyword, and you make sure it’s actionable as we discussed above, but you’re still not getting any website traffic or prospects, you definitely have a problem! The problem is usually that your keyword is too small (in search volume) or you’re seeing “personalized results” in Google.

Solution: Pick a larger keyword and browse through a proxy. There is a good chance that nobody is searching for “Criminal lawyer for drunk driving case in Northern Antarctica” so if that’s what your keyword looks like, you’re in trouble! You’ll have to pick a larger keyword (in search volume, not word/character count) such as “Antarctica DUI” or “Antarctica DUI attorney”. The second problem was with “personalized results”. This means that Google thinks you like a particular website so they show that website first. However, that isn’t what the rest of the world is seeing. If you think this might be the case, you can search Google from a different computer (on a different network) or search Google through a proxy. Just search for ‘website proxy’ and enter “google.com” in the search box. When Google comes up, type your keyword. That’s the real result.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments and I’ll answer each one individually!

Brandon Hopkins is a high performance link builder (also Fresno website design) who believes that second best isn’t good enough when it comes to search results! If you need to rank #1 and want to make sure you’re focusing on the right keywords, contact Brandon today!

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18 Responses to “How Do You Measure Website Success?”

  1. Megan Zuniga
    April 23rd, 2010

    This is tricky. Driving people to action. I know it all starts with formulating your keywords. After that, you have create content. You have to create interesting content and it will give something to the people who are visiting your site. If you’re an attorney, give some free legal advice. If you’re a cooking blog, give free cooking tips and recipes. If they start seeing value in your content, people will come in. And don’t just rely on google. There are other tools in social media at your disposal. Make sure to get your word out there. And if all else fails, there are offline strategies you can also use. I’m sharing more tips http://sn.im/uxp1c many different ways to promote your business. Hope you find them helpful as well.

  2. Josh
    April 29th, 2010

    These are some great tips. An easier way to remove Google’s “customizations” is to just go to Google.com and click in the top right corner on Web History. Then you will have an option to disable customizations and you don’t have to use a proxy to search.

  3. Barbara
    May 5th, 2010

    Thank you for this great info. Especially the Google tips.

  4. NP Jara
    May 24th, 2010

    I agree! The first thing a service provider has to do when signing on a new client is to establish expectations and go from there. This gives both of you a higher chance of success. Thanks for the tips about actionable keywords. I’ll try that in my website to get more traffic.

  5. pozycjonowanie poznan
    May 26th, 2010

    Thanks for the points to consider but I’m sure they’ll help me to promote my website

  6. Geld lenen bkr
    June 1st, 2010

    you should not forget about the fact that the titel of a website is enormously important. It should be a catching lines to play with the visitors emotions and to motivate them to the site. Strong title in Google could lead to 100% more visits.

  7. Jasmine
    June 7th, 2010

    Some good stuff here. The part that really got my eye was “actionable keywords”. This is very important – and applies not just to someone marketing real-world services online. Even if you sell ad space on your sites, targeting the keywords to attract the kind of people who are shopping and seeking solutions rather than just browsing or surfing, is very important.
    I recommend using the Google Keyword Tool to make sure that the keyword you are optimizing for has some volume. Make sure you select “exact match” in the keyword tool! And don’t over-reach yourself. A lot of the really high volume keywords are highly competitive and may be being pursued by marketers with and business with deep pockets.

  8. schraubstollen
    June 8th, 2010

    yeah tottaly loved your post. I think it will help me a lot!

  9. Rick L
    June 10th, 2010

    Great article! When building links for client’s website, they might ask when will they see the result (good search result position)? This is a tough question for me. Because of I am new to this and In the SEO world, seems nothing is guaranteed.

  10. seo kiev
    June 17th, 2010

    Thanks for this post Brandon. Learning basic SEO is definitely worth the effort. Applying basic SEO to your site means you have addressed the most important factor in blog promotion i. e. getting your content properly indexed in search engines and made available to those who are using search engines to find specific content.

  11. Advogado Rio de Janeiro
    June 20th, 2010

    Thanks a billion about excellent tips!

  12. Copywriter
    June 22nd, 2010

    This is all really helpful stuff, especially about the ‘Actionable Keywords’. Thanks, will be reviewing my sites this very afternoon.

  13. Golf Trophies
    June 22nd, 2010

    Nice tips, I will be using them to monitor my website and trying to make it better and more sucessful

  14. Textbook Buyback
    June 28th, 2010

    Personalized results in Google are making it more and more difficult to figure out where you “really” rank for particular keywords. It used to be that you could just log out to see “unpersonalized” results, but now it seems personalization and localization are almost impossible to avoid.

  15. odchudzanie poznan
    July 2nd, 2010

    Thanks a lot for sharing these such a good tips

  16. Pandora beads
    July 6th, 2010

    It’s useful for me, thanks the author. I think my web site will more traffic!

  17. free playstation plus
    July 12th, 2010

    This particular is very important – and applies not only to somebody advertising real-world services online. In case you market ad room in your sites, focusing on the key phrases to draw in the type of those who are purchasing and looking for options rather than just searching or surfing, is very important.

    I recommend using the Search engines Keyword Device to make certain that the keyword you are perfecting with regard to has a few quantity. Make sure you choose “exact match” in the keyword device! As well as do not over-reach yourself.

  18. Zipcode database
    July 12th, 2010

    Targeting is crucial. Consider using a database of zipcodes and a IP2Location api to target local variations of your keywords.

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